Large businesses in Europe and the UK are wasting billions of pounds on inefficient business processes that could be fixed with better document management, if a survey sponsored by Ricoh is anything to go by.
Ricoh's Process Efficiency Index 2011 researched the practices of 458 European companies with 1,000 or more staff, based across 12 nations. Respondents to the telephone interviews indicated a total of €147 billion (£132 billion) -- or 362 million person-hours -- is being spent on processing business-critical documents each year, with about €46 billion of that spend being unnecessary.
Carsten Bruhn, executive vice president at Ricoh Europe [pictured], said that the survey indicated that many of the respondents are struggling with manual or outdated processes that have multiple and costly impacts on their organisation as a whole.
"For example, if critical information is processed using traditional hardcopy methods, business risk is enhanced as they are less likely to be backed up. They are also easier to lose, making them more prone to security breaches. It is also inevitable that employees are spending unnecessary time processing business documents, instead of focusing on the core business transactions and customer service," Bruhn said.
"It is essential that they look at the efficiency of their business critical document processes."
The index looked at how European organisations managed their business-critical document processes: those that occur regularly and repeatedly and directly affect customers and staff, such as purchase orders, invoices or customer records.
According to Bruhn, respondents themselves acknowledged a need for improvement - specifically in the areas of knowledge-sharing, security, and workforce effectiveness. Forty-five per cent of respondents said that lack of time was a main barrier to making such improvements. A whitepaper is available on the Ricoh Europe website.
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